Feeling Lost? Are You Open for Help?

Are you open for help?

I was thinking about how hard it is to ask others for help.  Maybe this isn’t the case with you, but if you clicked on this, I think you were meant to read it.  You see I like to help others, I really do.  The weird thing is, I tend to isolate myself when I need help.

Why is being open for help so hard?

I think one of the reasons it is hard to ask others for help is because we assume society is going to see us as something less.  Truly.  Here is a wee example of a similar mindset.  My youngest has inherited my luck at finding faithful and true friends.  They are out there, and I do have my Unicorn (the one friend you can always call on no matter what), but right now, being a teenager is hard for her.  I went through this as well.

Scenario:  I have to be partners with x mom.  I know she left me out about 3 times, but I am okay with this.  Okay?  Don’t say anything.  I am fine.  <<< Not really, but okay.

So what advice would you give your teenage self if you could go back?

Don’t be the freaking Martyr. Seriously.  I told her to suffer in silence as this person continues to blow her off is not okay.  That is good advice for a teen and good advice for adults as well.  Be open and honest about the fact that being used is definitely not okay.

It is okay to not be okay.  Why do we have to say “No really.  I’m fine.”  If you aren’t fine, you aren’t fine.  No shame attached.  People who make you feel shame have had that passed down to them.  They were told to stuff it so often that they truly have stuffed their feelings inside.  Don’t let that be you.

Sit with it a while.  As the mom of not one, but two teenage daughters, I realize that occasionally I want to put on my armor and run into battle for them.  I need to sit down.  They need to sit down.  We all need to sit down.  Just be for a moment and see what happens.

Write about it.  I give everyone a journal.  I tell everyone to journal.  Ever since my red plastic Hello Kitty Diary days with the locking mechanism that got stuck, I journal.  I was around 6…seriously.  I also remember writing something that made me feel bad for the first time ever.  I “heated” someone I wrote.  Whew.  They had made me feel bad, made fun of me, and hit me.   So I heated them right back…and that made me feel bad.  That was the first time I can remember that I knew that wasn’t the answer to my problems.

Talk it out.  Now comes the time when we really need a good talking to.  NOT a private message.  NOT a series of short texts my people.  A chat.  A sit down.  People.  Don’t isolate if the problem is not going away.  The first thing I say to my girls is “Did you really talk?  Not a text??”  We can read into the words what we feel.  Not how they are intended.

Seek help.  If the situation hasn’t magically improved by doing the work above, it really is okay to say that you need some help or ideas in learning how to handle your problems.  Especially if it leads into the area of depression or thoughts of harm.  Have a list of trusted people.  Don’t have one?  Private Message or call a friend you trust especially if you know they have seen a mental health professional in your area.  Don’t want to do that because you want to stay private?  Use your friend “Google” and read the testimonials of the folks or reviews.

In the end, of course there are things we would all do differently, but today here is your most valuable lesson.  You did the best you could with the knowledge you had at the time, and now you might have different thoughts, but it is time to let it go.  If you need help moving on, ask.

Are you open for help?

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Motivational Monday…connections.

So, after a full weekend in Yoga Teacher Training, Monday is usually “catch-up” day.  I find myself spending too much time trying to reciprocate on Twitter, FB, Instagram, Pinterest or wherever I feel like I have not kept up.  Then I realized that I had neglected connections on here.  The actual blog.  This is where my heart was/has been/is.  The connection that I make to my readers is actually the thing I value the most.  If you go way back to my first posts, it’s about establishing a connection to you through my life with invisible diseases.

It did morph into a holistic type of connection…mind, body, social fan page, because I felt like we needed a variety of ways to stay in touch; however, please know that if you comment here, like here, share here, this is where I feel it the most.  My blog to me, is like ripping parts of my soul out and pressing it onto paper for you to read.  At first, it hurt.  It left me raw and exposed to the world.  You know I have issues.  You know I’m not perfect.  You know I’m a hot mess at times.  And…it’s okay.  Nothing fell apart.  I didn’t die from this experience.  In fact, I think it made me stronger. 

So my friends, my message today is simple.  Don’t be afraid to make real connections.  Some will not understand.  And that’s okay.  Everyone is brought into your life for a reason.  They all have lessons to teach us, and some might sting.  Some might walk away from your life because the truth is just too big for them to understand.  The only way to keep on living with that truth, is to remember that being you is the real lesson.  Being real.  The connections you make out of that are far more substantial.  I’d like to end with this piece shared by one of my readers, and hopefully you can read the whole poem.  It’s still amazing after all this time.  If poem, by Rudyard Kipling.  Thank you for the reminder friend.

Stronger Me

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Netiquette for sharing on Social Media…

So, for what seems to be the thousandth time, I have just explained again on social media how using the share button is actually different from stealing someone’s work.  I have many artist friends.  Many.  We create, we craft, we spend countless hours thinking of how a certain thing looks and how our audience might react to it.  But more importantly, we do it for ourselves.  Not to make millions of dollars, but because we feel this driving need to express ourselves.  If what we do resonates with you, then by all means share our work.  Please.

You can do that in any number of ways.  Copy the link to our site and message your friend.  Share and re-tweet us on Twitter.  Find us on Instagram and click the little heart.  Re-pin us on Pinterest.  Follow a blog.  Use the sharing tools on the blog.  Do you know why these are acceptable?  Because they link back to our original work.  But for whatever reason, when you are on Facebook, you might think downloading our work is acceptable.  Even though that awesome little share button is right there…it is made to circulate things you like.

Here is why downloading is not okay:  As stated basically by all the legal verbiage you can find on FB, When an image is published on the internet, the owner of that image immediately owns copyright.   If you doubt me, here is a reference link and you need to read Is it legal to download works from peer-to-peer networks and IF NOT what is the PENALTY for doing so?

So now you see why my friends are serious about the warnings they give.  “If you use a copyrighted work without authorization, the owner may be entitled to bring an infringement action against you.”  If you are a fan of many of the popular quote photo pages and you absolutely LOVE a particular quote, ask them if it’s on Pinterest so you can re-pin it.  If it’s not, maybe they will make it available for you.  I know I would if you said, I love this quote so much I want to marry it.  Or whatever you normally say.  I taught preschool (reminder).  I don’t adult correctly.

Moving on, but when you leave this long-winded comment on my page after I have nicely explained why the 50 photos you just downloaded into your albums are not actually yours and that’s like me taking all the photos of you, your kids and putting them in my albums and saying they are mine, and you leave me this negative comment, but you threw a Namaste after it, well then, my gosh, that’s ok.  Because you ended with “respect”.  How about respect me enough to begin with and share correctly.  That speaks volumes to me more than explaining away your actions by trying to cast blame.  And for the record, I meditate and am completing a 200-hour Vinyasa yoga teacher certification, but if I broke into your house and stole your things and you caught me, but said Namaste to you as I was leaving, I hope it would be okay with you.

Namaste

Motivational Monday…for the UNbroken

Hey friends…you know how last week on the Facebook fan page for my blog, I asked you a question?  I asked you to tell me what kind of “invisible disease” you had.  Many times, we feel so alone with these diseases, because they are in fact, not visible to people looking in at our lives.  But this statistic came from the link I posted: 96% of people with chronic medical conditions live with an illness that is invisible. 

I don’t really think we are alone.  So let’s say you didn’t get your disability and you have 5, maybe 6 illnesses on that list.  Guess what?  It happens.  I decided it meant something different.  I decided it meant that I was supposed to find a flexible job working from home and helping others.  Don’t be discouraged.  You have a few options.  You can continue the fight without a lawyer.  I have been told that’s why I never got anywhere.  You can get a lawyer.  Or you can move on.  Moving on is not giving up.  I just want to give you permission in case you needed to hear that.  I know all the excuses in your head.  I know all the what ifs.  But do not stay in that place of despair.  Make a plan.  Work on it.  Move on.

So now I am in yoga teacher training, and it’s hard.  Very, very hard emotionally and physically.  I doubt my path at times.  I do.  But as my friend said yesterday, okay really paraphrasing, if we didn’t have emotions or feelings we’d be like Data from Star Trek.  He was an android who was unable to feel emotion or understand certain human responses.  We don’t want to live like that.  So acknowledge the feelings you are having, and work the plan.  Whatever the plan is.  If you don’t have plan, write something down.  Just a few things.  It can be as simple as get out of bed, and get dressed.  Get to the store today.  Fibro friends, this is an important plan.  You know this.  Get out of your pajamas…says the blogger still in pajamas.  But you know what I’m talking about!!!  You do.

Next on your list, make a new friend.  Okay, this one is hard.  Why is this hard?  It is hard for people who feel alone, because opening ourselves up and getting vulnerable with new people is like going to a new doctor for us.  We hate having to start at the beginning and tell our story.  I know this.  You know this.  Stop ignoring this one.  So here’s how you can go about doing this.  Re-evaluate who is in your life right now.  Who checks in on you…who checked out on you.  Those people who checked out of your life during your hardest times, they have left you space for new people.  I know it sucks, believe me I do.  But it’s time to be honest.  Those people didn’t understand anyway.

So start a new practice.  Get your list out.  What did you like to do before all the bumps?  For me, I already liked yoga, so I looked into restorative, which was low-key.  I researched other types of exercises for fibromyalgia, and decided I didn’t feel like going to water aerobics, but if you like that, put that down.  if you liked gardening put it down.  Don’t think about the pain, I know you automatically went to “I can’t get down there and bend.” Stop.  So here’s a neat idea, look up community free classes or workshops in your area.  You can also container garden and not have to bend.  See how I did that?  Put it at eye level.  Flower arranging?  Do it.  Whatever it is that old you did, write it down.

So guess what’s going to happen during this process of thinking about other things that you now have room for in your life…you are going to make new friends.  You are going to feel better, and you are going to feel less alone.  Anytime you have a negative thought, push it away and back to the things you are doing that are positive.  That are a step in the right direction.  So when you get that letter in the mail from social security…don’t be afraid to open it.  Make a plan.

broken

Crab Mentality…

Dear support system,

You are not crabs and for that, I thank you.  Insert obvious, what is Aimee talking about, thought.  I have been fighting extremely hard to get out of the bucket.  Each time I get closer, a thought pulls me back down.  Just like crabs in the bucket.  This metaphor was used this weekend.  Individually, the crabs could easily escape from the pot, but instead, they grab at each other in a useless competition which prevents them from escaping and actually making it out.  Hmmm.  Sound familiar?

So I took this and spun it while reflecting on what Warren Barfield said.  You see my problem is sometimes all it takes is one crab.  Just one.  A doctor telling me that there is no cure for autoimmune, fibromyalgia, etc.  A friend telling me no, they are not interested in my business, which is their choice by the way, or someone speaking negative thoughts in my ear about how I won’t be able to grow my business.  These thoughts become like crabs in my head and they pull me down.  Over and over again.  Until now.

I am going to succeed in my personal business, Vitalize You, and I am going to change lives.  I am not promising you anything you can’t already achieve, but I am promising you guidance on your journey.  So to all my customers and fans, thank you for believing in my adventure.  For lifting me out of the bucket when I needed it instead of pulling me back down…because believe me, I do enough of that on my own.

crab mentality

See tab Vitalize You for more about why I started my business.

Motivational Monday…for the dogs

Home Office Ponderings…

I thought about this post for most of the day…but honestly I wasn’t feeling well, so I am late in posting:)  Most of my friends went back to work today in the traditional sense.  I went back to work on making posts, quote posters and taking care of social media for a few local businesses so I didn’t have to call my boss and take a sick day.  My office staff was not particularly helpful; however, they are cute and fluffy.  They tend to take lots of naps and need numerous potty breaks.  Just in case you are new, my office staff looks like this:

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Anyway, I happen to find a hilarious and introspective quote last night that I wanted to share with you today.  Mostly because I love Ellen…I really do.  So Ellen, if you happen to be reading this, I absolutely love the way you give back on your show.  And if I ever find myself paying off the expenses of the above mentioned office-staff, well, I’d love to do more of what you do.  I know over the years I’ve picked one month to give to people in need, but I’d really like to make it an all year long thing.  So here you go:

Path

Help yourself…

I was going to call this Motivational Monday…but I want you to know exactly what I am writing about.  I don’t want to mislead you as I might sound a bit harsh for a minute.  You need this.  I need this.  We need this.  So ahem, put on your big girl or boy pants for a minute and take a seat.

Sometimes people ask me for advice…and likewise, I ask others for advice occasionally.  The problem is, we aren’t really asking them for help.  We are merely wanting to let them know how crappy our lives are at the moment.  How horrible X, Y, and that Z is.  We let whatever their situation is get into our heads sometimes.  We should definitely NOT do that, but as good friends, maybe even best friends, we do.  It sinks into our souls like an anchor and there it lies.  It has extra weight that we carry around for who knows how long.  It might even take up space in our very valuable brain…space we scarce have left for our own issues let alone others.

So this is what I propose we all do before we ask for advice.  We think long and hard about our situation and if the situation can be improved and/or fixed by actually doing something instead of talking about it.  If the answer is yes, then write out a plan.  If you don’t think you can fix it yourself, and you really do require advice or help, then by all means, ask away.  But be prepared to actually use the advice others dispense.  Now before anyone reads into this, this is always purely written for me.  I am giving myself advice today.  Right now.

My good friend Dr. Marion gave me three questions to ponder over when I get asked for health advice from others.  The first is “What do you expect from me?”…maybe to clear up goals the other person wants for themselves.  The next is “What is your ideal lifestyle?”  She used this one on me a while back when working on my mobility at her office.  I thought about that for a while.  It sounds easy, but I really want you to think about it as it relates to your health.  Lastly was “How do you expect to get there?”  Of course I said magic wand…then I added that’s where she comes in.  She gets my humor.  But it’s hard working with her sometimes so I avoid it occasionally as that’s what we all do if we don’t like pain.  Likewise, we avoid listening to or taking the advice of others because it might cause us pain or difficulty.  We want the easy way out.  We do.

The difference is I know this and I still have a block.  I told her that today.  The hard things are just HARD to do.  I’m so damn tired of hard.  I don’t see myself as some of my friends do because I know what’s in my head.  I know how close I have come to not trying anymore.  Not giving up…just not trying.  But my friend told me I was so motivated it’s scary today.  And Marion told me to just stop “leading” and let her help me.  Because that’s what I do.  I look for answers, I don’t stop and rest too long or I’ll stay there, and I keep leading.  I will succeed in my goal of coming back into my body at full capacity.  I will not let these labels, these ridiculous, stupid labels, stop me from living.  If you are tired of living with a label and you are asking for advice, please do yourself a favor and HELP YOURSELF.  You are the lead in your life.  You are.  But when you ask for advice, if you truly need help, then take it.  And that my friends is my lesson for today.

Help yourself

Author’s note:  This was written when I was still in immense pain, 2014.  I clawed my way out of that place, and went to yoga.  Became a certified yoga teacher after 200 hours of Vinyasa training and then was certified in sport nutrition.  I took that knowledge of pain, autoimmune and the body and developed a healthy program for you to start.  It is called 4 Weeks to Wellness because it truly gives you everything you need to continue a healthy lifestyle in just 4 Weeks!

Finding the good…

I was having a conversation with my girls and I was trying to find something to say that would be worthy of great mom advice.  So often I wonder if I am giving them the right advice and then I just blurted out, well, stop dwelling on what’s wrong in this situation.  What do you like about this friend?  She went into a litany of wonderful attributes this person has.  There.  Whew.  I did it.  I passed the mom test.  Okay, I said something great and now she is focused on how good this friend is to her.  She can forgive the other issue.

Find your focus…

Wow.  I feel like I just had an epiphany.  So often we focus on the things that bug us about others.  Not just in friendships, but in our relationships with our sweethearts too.  We feel “judged” (do not like that word).  We feel criticized.  That is more like it.  It is difficult to live up to the standard you think others have set.  I know I feel that way.  I do not like it when I feel like I am being told I should do something by someone who has not walked in my shoes.  It makes my skin crawl.  So what if instead of focusing on why this person is doing that, I focused on the nice things about them?  I know it is hard, but it makes life easier.  Give them the benefit of the doubt EVEN if you don’t think they would do the same.

You have many other alternatives, but if you want a healthy relationship with this person, take a step back and find the good.  When you have done that, you can respond.  It gives you time to assess the situation and make your life easier.

Helped you quote

Stop the madness…

A friend told me a story the other day and I gave her bad advice.  Oh, not on purpose of course, but even as I said it I knew I was talking out of anger.  It’s not the first time that has happened and it won’t be the last.  I also prefaced it with you probably shouldn’t listen to me as this makes me really mad.  I’m not sure that helped, but maybe it did as she did her own thing anyway and it was the right thing to do.  She accepted the apology of someone.

You see, I am a very protective friend, and as I have gotten older, I am not afraid to tell people how I really feel.  The problem is, I have developed a bad habit lately.  If I don’t like what is going on in my life I basically leave the situation.  I stop talking to the person and move on.  The reason I have started doing this is because the only reaction I can control is my own.  I can’t control what the other person does or says, but I can control how I feel and I feel like I don’t have a great deal of time for bullshit quite frankly (I cuss like a sailor when I am mad, and I am working on that too.).

The truth is in the quote that I am ending with tonight because each day the pain of whatever you are going through will ease up until one day you might actually reflect back on something and realize how dumb the argument was to begin with.  You have two choices…you can own it or let IT own you.  Yes, that’s my quote.  So here is the lesson for today:

“That’s the reason they’re called lessons, because they lesson from day to day.”  ~Lewis Carroll

Listen to your body…

It’s been a while since I have worked on a piece for my HH friends, and other health followers, but I have a few things to share with you today.  If you are looking for tips on living with Hereditary Hemochromatosis, I have a few in this blog.  I like to call it HH for short…it is just too hard to keep spelling.  First, I want you to know that I believe most of my health problems are linked to this one disorder, so I focus primarily on that for my research.  I link all of my articles in this blog, so if you notice words that are different, please click them for the page.  Next, I do not want you to despair if you are newly diagnosed with this or any other disease.  Sure you can have a good cry, I did many years ago.  Just don’t think your life is over because of your diagnosis.  This is where the fight begins.  Yes, you have it in you, I am your biggest supporter.

I want you to buy a tiny book to put on your coffee table.  Before I started this blog, I would often quote from this book on my Facebook page just to give my friends some encouragement.  It started to change my thoughts as well.  I can help others think in a positive way.  I would say something like “This is your instant karma for the day.”  I realize that Barbara Ann Kipfer collected 8,879 pieces of gold and put them in a book to share, but I like to think she did it just for me:)  So here is your next step:

Seriously, it is a tiny book, but I love the encouragement.  Of course you can get any book of quotes as long as you have something positive to focus on for the moment.  Trust me, you will want to keep it visible.

Last but not least comes the best piece of advice I have to offer.  Listen to your body.  If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.  If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I have followed several leads that my body gave me and found interesting results.  I didn’t write about the latest because at the time I had started getting down again.  However, I realized after reading some comments in one of my health groups that I am not alone and needed to be reminded of that.  On that note, I am looking forward to yoga on the beach next week.  I can hear the waves relaxing me right now.  So if I miss my next blog post on Sunday, I promise to make it up to you with some great photos and awesome views.  I was going to end with the word “Namaste”, but I want you to see what it means to me:

Truly inspiring.

“Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, ‘Here is an opportunity for me to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary’.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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